AUBURNDALE, FLA. -- The Trine University baseball team concluded its annual spring trip to Florida with a pair of losses against Penn State-Abington, 6-2, and Saint (Pa.) Vincent College, 11-5, in two nine-inning games at Lake Myrtle Park in Auburndale, Fla.
In the game against PSU-Abington, the Nittany Lions took an early lead with three runs in the bottom of the first inning that was highlighted by a two-run double. The two teams remained scoreless until the bottom of the seventh when Abington added two more runs to increase the margin to 5-0.
Trine (4-4) got on the board in the eighth inning when a pair of runs crossed home plate by way of a defensive error with runners on second and third base to pull to within three runs, 5-2. But Abington tacked on an insurance run in its half of the eighth on a hit by pitch with bases loaded to make it a 6-2 game. Senior Zach Schulte (Sterling Heights, Mich./Warren Cousino) got on base in the ninth via a single, but the hit came with two outs already on the board. On the ensuing Thunder at-bat, the Nittany Lions got the game-ending out to preserve the 6-2 final.
Trine ended up with five hits in the game and had one player finish with multiple hits in senior Cale Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans) who went two-of-four at the plate. Senior Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Prairie Heights), junior Jake Roddy (Angola, Ind./Angola) and Schulte each recorded a hit. Heller and sophomore Joe Fiorucci (St. Joseph, Mich./St. Joseph) scored the two runs for the Thunder.
Sophomore Adam Wheaton (Kalamazoo, Mich./Hackett Catholic Prep) got the start at pitcher for the Thunder and went six and two-thirds innings allowing five runs, four earned, on six hits and tallied six strikeouts in the loss. Junior Tony Bottone (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers) pitched the final inning-and-a-third giving up an unearned run and one hit to go along with a strikeout.
Against Saint Vincent, the two teams played at a back-and-forth pace for the majority of the game. The Bearcats struck first with two runs in the top of the second inning, but Trine got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning on a wild pitch that allowed Roddy to score from third base.
Both teams swapped runs in the third inning with Trine's run coming on an error by the Saint Vincent catcher as Saint Vincent maintained its one-run lead, 3-2, after three innings of play.
The Thunder grabbed momentum in the bottom of the fifth with a RBI-single by junior Thomas Rivet (Howell, Mich./Hartland) that included another defensive error by the Bearcats that resulted in another Trine run scoring to give the home team a 4-3 lead.
Saint Vincent then took control as the result of eight unanswered runs that included a pair of runs in the sixth that gave the Bearcats the lead for good. Saint Vincent went on to add a run in the seventh, four runs in the eighth and another run in the ninth to extend the deficit to 11-4.
The Trine ninth began with back-to-back outs, but an ensuing double by Rivet would set up a run for the Thunder as Roddy followed with a base hit to score Rivet and narrow the gap to 11-5. Junior Nick Ricci (Hebron, Ind./Crown Point) kept the potential rally going with a single of his own to put runners at first and second. Saint Vincent would then get the final out on an infield groundout to secure the six-run victory, 11-5.
Trine outhit Saint Vincent, 13-8, with Roddy having a game-high three hits in five attempts to go along with a run scored and RBI. Four players ended the game with two hits in Cale Hall, Heller, Rivet and Ricci. Cale Hall finished two-of-four in addition to scoring a run, while Heller, Rivet and Ricci all went two-of-five. Heller also added a run scored and Rivet scored a run and also drove in a run.
Four Thunder pitchers saw action on the mound with sophomore Conner Dove (St. Joe, Ind./Eastside) getting the nod and lasting five-and-a-third innings while giving up five runs, four earned, with three hits and four strikeouts. Dove would end up with a no decision as he was replaced by sophomore Drew Bradford (Huntington, Ind./Whitko) who ended up as the pitcher of record after going an inning while allowing one run on one hit.
Trine is scheduled to play a three-game series against Wittenberg (Ohio) University beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday, Mar. 16 in Springfield, Ohio. The first game is scheduled to begin at noon.